Paper Money

Notes from Asia strong at Lyn Knight IPMS auction

The world paper money auction by Lyn Knight at the Kansas City International Paper Money Show on June 8 had 876 lots that literally went from A to Z.

Particular strength was shown by items from Asia and the Middle East, with many of the top notes equaling or exceeding their estimates. As usual, the British Commonwealth was well-represented, along with colonial issues of other European powers. 

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The best lot was saved for last. A Paper Money Guaranty Very Fine 20 Net 1916 Zanzibar 10-rupee note sold for $21,000 plus the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee. This elusive issue is only the second-graded example recorded. Close behind at a $20,000 hammer price was a key $100 British Caribbean Territories issue of Jan. 20, 1963, graded VF-20. An About Uncirculated 58 punch-canceled uniface specimen Japanese 200-yen note from 1927 garnered $15,000. 

Two nearly identical Extremely Fine Chinese 10,000-cash notes from 1855 that the cataloger forthrightly admitted could not be third-party graded, and for which there was a lack of information, were each estimated at $2,000 to $3,000 and offered “as is.” The market did its research, however, and the notes ended up going for $14,000 and $13,000. 

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An undated Qatar and Dubai 25-riyal note from the 1960s was called one of the most important types from all of the Middle East. It sold for $12,000 in PCGS Currency VF-25 PPQ.  

A separate session just for 189 rarities from Colombia and 93 from the Philippines was held on June 9. This session was led by a Colombian Banco de Barranquilla 10-peso note dated June 12, 1900, with a paddle-wheel steamer on the face. It was graded Very Fine+ and reached $5,500. 

The Philippine section was dominated by bank notes issued during the period of American involvement from 1903 to World War II. Based on their designs, reminiscent of U.S. currency, and history, these notes would have had an appeal to U.S. collectors as well as Philippine specialists.

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